Arts

Author Interviews
2:21 pm
Sat November 23, 2013

'Hunting Season' Examines Racism And Violence In An All-American Town

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 4:07 pm

On a chilly night in November 2008, an Ecuadorean immigrant named Marcelo Lucero was attacked and murdered in the Long Island town of Patchogue, N.Y., where he lived and worked. His attackers, a group of local teenagers, were out "hunting for beaners" β€” an activity that had become part of their weekly routine.

Lucero, then 37, and his childhood friend, Angel Loja, were out for a late-night stroll when they saw a group of seven young people approaching them.

Read more
Theater
5:35 am
Sat November 23, 2013

Broadway's Season Of Adventure

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 9:18 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: The fall season is underway on Broadway. And NPR's Trey Graham may still be a little glassy-eyed, because took in five shows over a three-day weekend. He joins us in our studios. Trey, thanks for making time for us.

TREY GRAHAM, BYLINE: Thanks for having me.

Read more
Author Interviews
5:35 am
Sat November 23, 2013

Even On The Water, Class Remains In Session

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 3:24 pm

As Matt de le Pena's book, The Living, opens, a young man named Shy works as a towel boy by day and a water boy at night, spending his summer earning money on a cruise ship.

Then the big one hits β€” the epochal earthquake that Californians have always heard would strike one day β€” and 17-year-old Shy is flung into shark-infested seas from a sinking ship.

Read more
Fine Art
5:35 am
Sat November 23, 2013

Kiefer's Bleak Horrors Of War Fill An Entire Building

Anselm Kiefer's Velimir Chlebnikov, a series of 30 paintings devoted to the Russian philosopher who posited that war is inevitable, is on display at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.
MASS MoCA

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 6:50 pm

Anselm Kiefer was born in 1945, in the Black Forest of southwest Germany, just as the Third Reich was collapsing.

"I was born in ruins, and for me, ruins are something positive," Kiefer says. "Because what you see as a child is positive, you know? And they are positive because they are the beginning of something new."

Read more
Television
3:25 am
Sat November 23, 2013

Sarah Silverman, Serving Up Sinfully Divine Comedy

Nothing's sacred in We Are Miracles β€” but then as Sarah Silverman told Terry Gross in 2010, "there's a safety in what I do because I'm always the idiot. ... I'm always the ignoramus no matter what I talk about or what tragic event, off-color, dark scenario is evoked in my material."
Janet Van Ham HBO

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 9:18 am

Sarah Silverman is funny β€” sweet, bawdy, innocent, outrageous, Emmy-winning, milk-through-your-nose funny. And her new comedy special, We are Miracles, debuts tonight on HBO.

Performing in front of a live audience, the comedian takes on religion, pornography, childhood, politics and stereotypes, and no one's left standing. (No really: One punchline involves Hitler being assigned "Heil Marys" as penance.)

Silverman tells NPR's Scott Simon that she thinks good comedy comes from "some kind of childhood humiliation or darkness."

Read more
Television
2:21 am
Sat November 23, 2013

Allons-y! Why We've Been Traveling With 'Doctor Who' For 50 Years

Jenna Coleman plays Clara, companion to Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith. The relationship between the Doctor and his companions is at the core of Doctor Who's long-lived appeal.
Adrian Rogers/BBC

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 9:18 am

This afternoon, millions of fez-wearing fans around the world will tune in to a very special episode of Doctor Who. The venerable British sci-fi series turns 50 today β€” though the time traveling alien Doctor himself is probably somewhere on the wrong side of 1,000.

From scrappy, low-budget beginnings (bubble-wrap monsters, anyone?), Doctor Who has become a global phenomenon. Only soap operas can match it for longevity and popularity. So what's the secret to the Doctor's appeal?

Read more
Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
5:18 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Not My Job: Coach Muffet McGraw Gets Quizzed On Tuffets

Jim Prisching AP

Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 10:09 am

University of Notre Dame women's basketball coach Muffet McGraw has led her team to five NCAA Final Fours, is the reigning Naismith College Coach of the Year, and has a spot in the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame. On top of all that, she could almost certainly beat most NPR listeners at a game of H-O-R-S-E.

The only other Muffet we've ever met is the Little Miss, so we've invited McGraw to play a game called "So what exactly is a tuffet anyway?" Three questions about nursery rhymes and children's songs.

Read more
The Salt
4:47 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Ancient Wine Bar? Giant Jugs Of Vino Unearthed In 3,700-Year-Old Cellar

Graduate student Zach Dunseth carefully excavates wine jugs found in the ruins of a Canaanite palace that dates back to about 1700 B.C.
Eric H. Cline Courtesy of Eric H. Cline/George Washington University

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 2:06 pm

It looks like our ancestors from the Bronze Age were way bigger lushes than we had ever realized.

Archaeologists have discovered a personal wine cellar in a palace that dates back to 1700 B.C. It's the oldest cellar known, and the personal stash was massive.

More than 500 gallons of wine were once stored in a room connected to the palace, located in modern-day northern Israel, scientists said Friday at a conference in Baltimore. That's enough vino to fill 3,000 wine bottles β€” or a seven-person hot tub.

Read more
Book Reviews
4:30 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Senate

Lyndon B. Johnson delivers a speech 28 July 1965 in the White House in Washington, D.C.
AFP/Stringer Getty Images

On Thursday, the Senate passed a historic rules change. Invoking the so-called "nuclear option," Senate Democrats used a rare parliamentary procedure to limit the power of the filibuster β€” a key method often used by minority parties to check the majority. Now, a simple majority vote will be required to confirm presidential nominees, rather than the 60-vote super-majority once necessary to bypass the filibuster.

Read more
Music
1:24 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Jazz Legend Sandoval: Music 'Keeps You Alive'

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

Now we take a moment to highlight and salute another artist. Jazz-great Arturo Sandoval received the Presidential Medal of Freedom this week from President Obama. Sandoval was born and raised in Cuba, where he was once jailed just for listening to jazz music. So he packed up his trumpet and moved to the United States. A country he says gave him the freedom to fill the air with his music. Here's what the president said about him at the ceremony.

(SOUNDBITE OF CEREMONY)

Read more
The Salt
12:32 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

This Is What America's School Lunches Really Look Like

Courtesy of DoSomething.org

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 10:08 am

School lunch has never been the stuff of foodie dreams. I'm still haunted by the memory of my elementary school cafeteria's "brain pizza" – a lumpy oval thing topped with fleshy white strips of barely melted mozzarella that clumped together like neurons.

And it looks like America's school cafeterias are still turning out the culinary abominations, judging by the images on Fed Up, a fascinating online project showcasing school lunch photos submitted by students across the country.

Read more
The Kennedy Assassination, 50 Years Later
12:31 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

How Live TV Helped America Mourn The Loss Of JFK

During JFK's funeral, live TV coverage helped make John-John Kennedy's salute an indelible image of American history.
Keystone Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 12:50 pm

Read more
Music Interviews
10:26 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Esperanza Spalding: Guantanamo Doesn't Represent 'Our America'

Grammy Award-winner Esperanza Spalding in her video 'We Are America."
ESPLLC

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 1:24 pm

Grammy Award-winning musician Esperanza Spalding has a problem with using the phrase "protest song" to describe her new recording, "We Are America." The song, along with its accompanying music video, demands congressional action to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay.

" 'Protest' doesn't seem accurate to me," she tells NPR's Celeste Headlee. "We weren't thinking of a 'protest' song, we're thinking of a 'let's get together and do something pro-active, creative and productive' song."

Read more
TED Radio Hour
7:46 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Are There Any Universal Beliefs And Truths?

James Duncan Davidson TED

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 1:23 pm

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode Believers and Doubters.

About Devdutt Pattanaik's TEDTalk

Devdutt Pattanaik takes an eye-opening look at the myths of India and of the West β€” and shows how these fundamentally different sets of beliefs about God, death and heaven help us consistently misunderstand one another.

About Devdutt Pattanaik

Read more
TED Radio Hour
7:32 am
Fri November 22, 2013

What Can Atheism Learn From Religion?

TED

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 1:23 pm

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Believers and Doubters.

About Alain de Botton's TEDTalk

What aspects of religion should atheists adopt? Alain de Botton suggests a "religion for atheists" that incorporates religious forms and traditions to satisfy our human need for connection, ritual and transcendence.

About Alain De Botton

Read more
TED Radio Hour
7:32 am
Fri November 22, 2013

How Does A Person Go From Believer To Atheist?

"I felt so lucky to be Catholic and I loved the Catholic school and I loved the nuns ... then when it came to the belief part of it I was always a little bit skeptical" β€” Julia Sweeney
James Duncan Davidson TED

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 1:23 pm

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Believers and Doubters.

About Julia Sweeney's TEDTalk

When two young Mormon missionaries knocked on performer Julia Sweeney's door one day, it puts Sweeney on a quest to completely rethink her own beliefs.

About Julia Sweeney

Read more
TED Radio Hour
7:32 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Is Doubt Essential To Faith?

James Duncan Davidson TED

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 1:10 pm

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Believers and Doubters.

About Lesley Hazleton's TEDTalk

Writer Lesley Hazleton calls for a new appreciation of doubt and questioning as the foundation of faith β€” and an end to fundamentalism of all kinds.

About Lesley Hazleton

Read more
TED Radio Hour
7:32 am
Fri November 22, 2013

What's The Difference Between Belief And Faith?

Rev. Billy Graham speaking at a TED conference in 1998.
Courtesy of TED

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 5:08 pm

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Believers and Doubters.

About Billy Graham's TEDTalk

Speaking at TED in 1998, Rev. Billy Graham marvels at technology's power to improve lives and change the world. But he says technology and science can't do everything: "There's something inside of us that is beyond our understanding." Graham's daughter, Anne Graham Lotz, reflects on her father's idea of the nature of faith.

Read more
TED Radio Hour
7:31 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Believers And Doubters

What does it mean to believe?
flcarcavallo Thinkstock

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 1:29 pm

Why do some of us believe and some of us don't? In this hour, TED speakers offer perspectives on belief from all ends of the spectrum, from atheists to the devout.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Monkey See
6:59 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: $#*! Profanity In Pop Culture And Outdated Tech

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

This week's show features something you will very rarely hear from us: bleeping! By which I mean: actual, literal bleeps. Because we're kicking things off with a discussion of profanity, in movies including Anchorman and Die Hard, and in TV shows on cable and broadcast.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:58 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Book News: Psychic And Author Sylvia Browne Dies

Psychic and author Sylvia Browne, seen in this undated photo, said she believed in reincarnation and could help people communicate with their dead loved ones.
AP

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 6:48 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

Read more
Book Reviews
5:03 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Hard-Core (Food) Porn In 'Anything That Moves'

iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 12:06 pm

There are, among connoisseurs of pornography, many stratified tastes. To cater to those tastes, there are many levels to which the pornography itself might rise (or sink, depending on your moral stance on the topic). There are categories, boundaries, territories of smut that run the gamut from the (relatively) tame to the out-and-out horrifying.

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:52 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

A Side Of Bettie Page You've (Somehow) Never Seen

Bettie Page Reveals All digs deep into the storied life of the 1950s model, seen here in one of the many photos featured in the documentary.
Music Box Films

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 4:03 pm

A tantalizing nugget lies half-buried in Mark Mori's engaging documentary about Bettie Page, the 1950s pinup who's inspired an endlessly self-renewing retro-cult of fans both male and female.

In the middle of a screening of Mary Harron's The Notorious Bettie Page, it seems, a voice was heard yelling "Lies! All lies!"

Read more
Arts & Life
3:34 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Remembering 5Pointz: A Five-Story Building That Told Plenty More

The walls of 5Pointz were once covered in graffiti. Artists worldwide came to New York to paint the warehouse surface.
Bruce Wallace for NPR

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 4:54 pm

This week, New York City lost a cultural landmark. The site known as 5Pointz was a graffiti museum, of sorts β€” the walls of a 200,000-square-foot warehouse complex covered with ever-evolving spray-painted art. It spread across a block in Long Island City right across the water from Manhattan in the borough of Queens.

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

'Catching Fire': The Hunger Games, Now With Real Heat

Effie Trinket taps Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence, right) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) for the Hunger Games arena again β€” but this time the rules are different and the stakes are higher as rebellion brews in Panem.
Murray Close Lionsgate

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 2:10 pm

There's a moment of chilling violence in Catching Fire, the second of four planned movies adapting Suzanne Collins' dystopian Hunger Games novels, a moment in which the difference a director makes becomes immediately clear β€” and one that should give hope to readers who might have felt some disappointment with the first movie.

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

A Foray Into The Blood-Soaked 'Cultura' Of Mexico's Cartels

In Narco Cultura, director and photojournalist Shaul Schwarz interrogates the collision of pop culture and Mexico's drug cartels β€” as personified by bands like Los Bukanas de Culiacan (above), who perform narcocorridos, or songs glorifying the drug trade.
Shaul Schwarz Cinedigm

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 1:03 pm

Following police through Mexico's Ciudad JuΓ‘rez β€” reputedly the world's homicide capital β€” the Israeli filmmaker Shaul Schwarz finds mutilated corpses and gutters running with blood. But the resulting documentary, Narco Cultura, is not nearly so vivid as its most gruesome footage.

Read more
The Salt
8:15 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Remember 'French Fries Cause Cancer'? Here's The Acrylamide Update

French fries: There are probably other reasons besides acrylamide to avoid these tasty snacks.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 1:02 pm

Back in 2002, french fry lovers around the world received a nasty bit of news: Those crunchy, fried strips of potato contained a known carcinogen. Now, all these years later, a new warning from the Food and Drug Administration has consumers once again puzzling over whether to fear the chemical acrylamide.

Read more
Ask Me Another
7:43 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Random Questions With: R.L. Stine

R.L. Stine: This man wants to terrify your children.
Lam Thuy Vo NPR

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 10:13 am

If you're a person of a certain age, R.L. Stine probably scared or delighted you with his Goosebumps and Fear Street series. (And you'll be happy to hear Stine recently announced a Fear Street reboot.) But the man who declares "terrify[ing] kids" as his job description actually started out as a humor writer β€” and his "jovial" nature remains intact.

Read more
Ask Me Another
7:43 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Hurtful Words

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 10:10 am

They say that love is the universal language, but they're wrong β€” it's pain. In this game, house musician Jonathan Coulton will tell you how people around the world say "ouch," and you have to name the language. "Úff, this eruption by the volcano EyjafjallajΓΆkull is making me really hot!"...you said, in Icelan-glish. (That's Icelandic + English.)

Read more
Ask Me Another
7:43 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Quoth The Raven, Something More

You are probably aware that in Edgar Allan Poe's famous poem, the titular raven repeatedly says, "Nevermore." Turns out, while he "still is sitting, still is sitting," that raven has moved on to quoth'ing celebrity names that rhyme with "-moore." Naturally, host Ophira Eisenberg and house musician Jonathan Coulton perform the clues about these famous folks in verse.

Pages